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Does shaving cream in a can work just as well as shaving soap?

Is there any advantage to soap you lather up with a brush in a cup over aerosol shaving cream when using a straight razor or is it strictly about the traditional experience?
For straight razors, soap slickness is what you want most. Canned goo (as it is referred to here on B&B) is manufactured mainly for multi-blade shavers. It does not provide the slickness that SR shavers strive for.

Most SR shavers also prefer a wetter lather than that desired by "safety" razor shavers. This can only be obtained by generating your own lather from soap (puck or stick) or cream.

Whether you develop your lather on your face on elsewhere (cup, bowl, hand, etc.) is your personal preference.


Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
Water it down and it will work, but most are under-hydrated straight out of the can. While every soap or cream has its own best stuff:water ratio for a task at hand, the constants are too much soap/cream/oil makes lather sticky and too much water reduces lubrication (not sticky, but not entirely slick).
My recommendation is to get a good boar brush (like a Semogue 1800 for less than $20) and a puck of good soap (like Stirling Barbershop for about $10), take them for a drive, and report back on what you find.

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I think the difference is huge and I'll never go back to canned shaving foam or gel again.

I was planning to reply with advice similar to Frank Shaves.

There's no substitute for figuring things out for yourself. If you'd like a really inexpensive test, pick up an Omega S-brush synthetic shaving brush. You can probably find one for well under 10 bucks, and they are amazingly good for the price. Then pick up an inexpensive shaving soap that seems pretty well regarded on the forums. Maybe a Speik or La Toja shaving stick. After a few weeks experimenting, you'll know for yourself at a cost of well under 25 bucks.
I should add that there is risk to my recommendation in that you may find yourself going down the familiar rabbit hole of buying more soaps and brushes than you can easily use.

I am recommending the Semogue and Stirling after having used many brushes and soaps. Now you might want to go for a different scent then the barbershop …

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To expand on my earlier answer, I never liked the foams. Most of them have a base scent that I hate, and all of them dried my skin out. I used Cremo for several years until I started trying actual soaps. I'm also a big fan of Stirling. Get a handful of samples, they're cheap enough to toss if you hate the smell, and they last long enough that you won't run out before you have a chance to order more.


Goose Poop Connoisseur
Is there any advantage to soap you lather up with a brush in a cup over aerosol shaving cream when using a straight razor or is it strictly about the traditional experience?
I believe so. You can control the hydration with soap. With a can, you get what you are given.
I find shaving soap works way better than any canned goo more so with Straight razors, but the best one to get is a Tabac puck its cheap and lasts a long time but the scent you love or hate it.

But a brush and soap go hand in hand....
I started shaving in my teens with a Gillette slim and a Palmolive stick. Later I bought a can of shaving goo. I think that was also Palmolive. I tried shaving with it about half-a-dozen times. I/it failed so the can was thrown out.

Never again.
If soap and a bowl sounds like too much faff try a shave stick. Rub of on your (wet) face, "paint" in some water with a brush - as much as it will take - then whip it up into a lather. Easy & no fuss.
I used Gillette Foam at first then went to the gel for over 30yrs using cartridge razors, then I got into traditional wet shaving 4 years ago and for myself shaving with hard soaps, croaps and creams are just great with a nice 24mm synthetic, badger or broken in boar brush. The brush lather soap scents also rich protective lather that can be heated in up in winter from a lather bowl that can not be beaten IMO. I always place soap in the ceramic bowl first & then turn upside down and let the hot water heat the bowl and soap and then with a warm wet brush make my lather and that is a nice treat. Tried heating just the foam and it does not work well at all.
Shaving bowl 3 (2).jpg

I liked Gillette gel over foam and it will work with a safety razor also, you should be able to tailor make your lather to your liking and not some foam or gel scientist formula that says on average this is what you will like. Making lather in a bowl takes about 1 minute once you know what you like or want and some fellows take longer and that is OK(retired folks with lots of time).
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If the driver for using a can of foamy goo is lack of time, this brushless cream is a good alternative:

Clubman | Clubman Shave Cream

Not as good as a Semogue brush and Stirling soap, but it will get the job done.
Not a time issue just curious if there's really a functional difference - the consensus seems to be that there is. If for some reason I were in a huge hurry I'd use the electric.

(It's not considered blasphemy to even mention an electric in here is it? Lol...)
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